Starting this week, Staples seniors are able to miss class to hear college representatives speak in the College and Career Center. Students attending are required to sign up on Naviance and have a form signed by their teacher 24 hours in advance.
“[It’s] a good way to get a sense of a school. Its the next best thing to [going on a full college visit],” Guidance Counselor Denise Honeycutt said.
Even though it’s highly recommended that students go on a full college tour to experience the campus, there is one disadvantage: students won’t get to speak to the reps. Students are urged to hear the reps because there is a “subjective part.” They are the ones who read the applications, Honeycutt explained.
According to Susan Fugitt, a counselor at the College and Career Center, they have been running this program since before she began working at Staples 16 years ago.
The biggest turnout that they’ve had was 54 students for the University of Michigan last year. Since there is no limit to the number of students that can attend each college rep visit, many are forced to cram in the room.
“[We’ve] never turned down a student away because there was no room,” Fugitt said.
This gives relief to students because there is a guarantee that they will have a spot to hear the rep talk.
However, there are some occasions where students would not be able to attend.
For example, if there is a test that conflicts with the time of the reps’ visit, the student’s teacher can choose to not sign the form that permits them to go.
“The teacher has the final say [in whether a student can attend or not]. Teachers are very understanding, however; academics come first because the priority is not missing class,” Honeycutt explained.
Unlike seniors, juniors are allowed to hear the reps talk only during a free period.
Although it would give them a head start, very few of them choose to attend because “most juniors aren’t there yet,” Honeycutt said.
Andrea Mahieu ’15 who is planning to attend many of the college reps’ visits, including the University of Connecticut, shared that she didn’t attend any last year as a junior.
“I was not thinking about college too much; it felt far off in the distance. I thought I had more time than I realized,” Mahieu said.
Mahieu isn’t alone in her opinion.
“I didn’t take it seriously because I had so much time over the summer to look at the colleges myself, via virtual tours,” Brittany Braswell ’15 agreed.